Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Update on My Daughter

After goofing off for part of the day yesterday, I did finally manage to get a new batch of small format underpaintings going. I should have done more and would like to today but will have to wait until tomorrow.

Today, Doug and I are taking our youngest child, Ginger, to Syracuse to visit the diabetes clinic where she is treated. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in August and we have settled into our new lifestyle fairly well since then. Ginger has taken over all her own blood sugar testing, and knows what to do if it is too low (eat something), or too high (exercise-jumping rope is good, or get a unit or two of insulin). She knows how to draw up a shot and can give it to herself, however mostly we do it. She has the rest of her life to give herself insulin. I bought her a pink sparkly shoulder bag for her test kit and she carries it, as well as a snack bag, with her everywhere she goes. Her friends know a lot about diabetes now, as well as everyone at school. EVERYONE has been so awesome and supportive and we feel so lucky. I have overheard her friends asking what her number is after she tests herself, and while we haven't allowed her to have any overnights since she was diagnosed, many of her friend's parents have offered to learn the basics and about how to give her a shot. Hearing these offers makes my eyes tear up, but we haven't taken anyone up on it yet. Still seems like a lot to throw at someone, you know? We have her friends at our house more now, and Ginger has also been able to keep up with all of her physical activities; soccer, basketball, jump rope club, so she keeps busy. Anyway, Ginger loves attention, and the very minute she feels the symptoms of low blood sugar, she tells someone, anyone, everyone. A previously irritating habit has turned out to be a big plus in this situation, this girl will never quietly slip into a diabetic coma.....

So we have folded all of this into our daily lives and have moved on. We have done a ton of reading and have found a book whose outlook we really appreciate, so that has become our main reference. We still have our fears for Ginger, especially for her health in the future, but I deal with that by telling myself that she is ok, today, and that I will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

That works most of the time, but I have my days.


Michelle said...

And if you could do this for her you would in a heartbeat. That is being a mom. But same with my sons Tourettes. This is a lesson or a skill or a path that they will benefit from in the future. How? Don't know. Maybe ginger will help alleviate this in children when she grows up, maybe something brilliant will happen because of this and the path that you all are now on.
Its hard. have a glass of wine and get back in! :)
Oh, and you are unbelievable fast and prolific painting!

Kim Hambric said...

Tracy, I can't imagine your fears and struggles, but from what I can tell, you have raised a strong daughter who will have all the skills to be an independent woman (with a lot of friends, apparently).

I adopted my daughter in China when she was 8 1/2 months old. A group of six families went. Other babies were round, healthy and sitting up and/or crawling like crazy. My daughter weighed about 13 pounds. She could not sit up. She had scabies and had scratched herself until blood was literally dripping from her tiny body. She had a heart murmur (which I was told was pretty common).

For quite a while, weight was a constant battle, I sometimes think it still is, although as of her last checkup she has finally made it onto the weight chart. She quickly learned to sit up after we returned from China. The murmur had disappeared as of two years ago. For some reason, she will still scratch herself until she bleeds. From all of the odd looks I have received, I'm surprised social services has not paid me a call. I hope I have not made her feel weak and overly dependent. I hope I have not given her any psychological food issues. My goal is to make her competent,strong and loving. I never know if I'm doing it right.

You seem to be doing a great job. And, right now, the plus side is getting to know her friends. The fact that her friends and their families have learned so much is fantastic.

Hope you had a great birthday. Your give away was very thoughtful. I'm lucky to have one of your pieces.

Robin Maria Pedrero said...

My heart goes out to you and your daughter. You are blessed to have one another and your family and friends. May God continue to give you courage and guidance.

Ann said...

We deal with many of the same issues because of my daughter's life-threatening peanut allergy. When will she have a reaction, how bad will it be, and will she get an epi-pen shot in time to save her are daily concerns. It never really gets any easier. I try not to let the future scare me though, it's just one day at a time. You are doing a great job and have an awesome daughter.

Anonymous said...


I have a close friend whose son also has juvenile diabetes...would you mind sharing the title and author of the book that has been a positive influence?

Sydney Harper said...

Several years ago my husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few days before Christmas. (Not the best time to find out you have diabetes.) It took us a while to get educated and settle into a routine. Those first few months were stressful for both of us. Now it's just part of our routine.

I see lots of nice underpaintings in that batch. I might be able to finish that in a week. :)

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

oh goodness, poor kid

zs said...

I am so happy that you posted an update on Ginger... I like to be in the know with what's doing! I have no doubt that while diabetes is most certainly a life changing diagnosis, you guys will all rock, rock on. You guys are an amazing family.

Natalya said...

you guys sound very level-headed there.. I am so glad everything is under control. Advances in medicine will help keep her healthy as she grows.. but i'll keep my fingers crossed anyway!

Julie R said...

How funny, because I was just thinking about Ginger this morning and wondering how she's been doing. Glad to hear the update, and it really sounds like you and Doug are handling this SO well.

Tracy said...

Hi Michelle, we have already decided that some god will come of this. What we notice already is that she is a bit more responsible than she was, although she has retained her innate silliness. A good combo, one that she may not have had otherwise.

Kim, wow, what you have gone through with your daughter. Sounds like she is doing so well now though, amazing what a good, secure loving family can do for one's health. And PS, I don't know if we ever know if we are doing things right! Talk about delayed gratification!

Thanks Robin, yes, we are lucky and this whole thing has really shown us that.

Hi Ann, one of my other daughter's friends has a peanut allergy, along with asthma and sometimes I think that might be worse than the diabetes. Such sudden and severe reactions! At least with Ginger we have some warning when something is up....So sorry that you are going through this too.

Veronice, the book is The Diabetes Solution. The author has had type 1 for 62 years and is a dr. specialixing in diabetes. He is kind of hardcore regarding diet, which isn't really practical for a growing, and very picky eater like Ginger, but as she gets older it will be more and more useful. For us now though it is really informative.

Sorry to hear about your husband, Sydney, and so you know about the adjustment. The book I mentioned above may be of interest to you. It certainly covers type 2 as well.

She's good Gary, just a little challenge for her:)

thanks Zoe, so kind of you to keep up and yeah, we'll definitely rock on:)) you too! I am loving all that you have going on! Did you read my ode to you?

Thanks Natalya, yes the advances have been amazing, even in just the last few years, we are so lucky for that. the home testing kits especially have made a huge difference in monitoring.

Thanks Julie, so nice that you were thinking of her. Sometimes I can't believe Doug and I have to do this, but of course we must!

SYLVIANE said...

Tracy, my heart is with you, keep courage, and you have such a strong mind.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

what a lovely post. You can handle it, that's for sure.